By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Daniel Eskinazi, a Chabad Shliach at Beit Chabad Central in S. Paulo, Brazil, went to daven Shachris at the main shul of 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights on Thursday.
He came to New York for Gimmel Tammuz and remained a few additional weeks for a simcha. The visit to 770 was going to be his final before returning home to South America.
Standing on Eastern Parkway, he heard a couple speaking with their children in Portuguese and went over to start a conversation.
Are you from Brazil? Rabbi Eskinazi asked.
“Yes, indeed,” the man answered. “But we moved to Orlando five years ago.”
“Where in Brazil are you from?” asked the rabbi.
“I’m from Petrópolis, and my wife is from Porto Alegre,” the man said.
“Nice, I studied in Petrópolis for five and a half years, in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Binyamini,” Rabbi Eskinazi said, referring to Rabbi Chaim Binyamini OBM, the legendary Shliach who founded the first Yeshiva in Brazil.
“What years?” the man inquired.
“From 1981 until 1986,” Rabbi Eskinazi.
“Oh, so could it be that we met there?” the man wondered.
“Well, in 1984, I went to study at the Yeshiva for my Bar Mitzvah,” the man said. “The guy who taught me was Daniel Eskinazi.”
“No way! That’s me!” Rabbi Eskinazi replied with shock and excitement.
The man identified himself as Marcos Szmukler and was emotional about unexpectedly reuniting with his Bar Mitzvah “teacher” 38 years later. The two agreed to stay in touch.
On Friday morning, Rabbi Eskinazi landed in Brazil and received an update. Rabbi Ari Liberow, son of the Shluchim of Porto Alegre Rabbi Mendel and Miriam Liberow, said Marcos was in touch with his following the encounter.
Marcos said he was inspired to get a new pair of Tefillin since the existing one was not in a good condition and plans to don them regularly…